It wasn’t just a dollhouse. Not just one house but a whole city of homes and shops. And surrounding the city were farms with fields of crops and hillsides where sheep safely grazed. All of this lay in front of them on the floor of a temple building.
“This miniature land is not a toy,” Gaia said to the little goddesses. “This shows us what will someday be on Earth. When Chronos gets tired of his dinosaurs, there will be mortals on the land.”
“What are mortals?” asked Hera.
“Like the dinosaurs, they are born, grow through the years, and then someday die.”
“What do they look like?”
“Watch,” said Gaia as she turned to the miniature landscape. With a wave of her hand, she caused a tiny sun to rise over the land and that caused the little mortals to come out of their houses.
As each of the gods had arms, legs, and a head, each of the little mortals did also. And like the gods, they were gold-colored.
In one of the streets, a tiny man yelled at a woman and seemed to be trying to steal her basket of food. The tiny woman looked up to the four faces looking down at the scene. She cried out, “Hera!”
Gaia said to Hera, “She’s calling to you for help.”
Hera reached down and picked up the man between her finger and thumb.
“You be nice!” she said to the tiny frightened man. “Hestia, you tell him how he should behave.”
Hestia took him and placed him in her palm and said to him, “No stealing. Demeter, tell him what he should be doing.”
Demeter picked him up from Hestia’s palm, and as she placed him on the outside of the city, she said to him, “You should be working in the fields helping to grow the food.”
Noticing a group of men loafing by a fountain, Hera leaned down and said to them, “All of you men. Get to work.”
The little men didn’t bother to look up but quickly scampered off to the fields and workshops. Glowing with pride, Gaia gazed at the three little goddesses, kneeled down to hug them all, and said, “Well done.”
While the baby goddesses played with their miniature golden mortals, Zeus entertained his brothers by blasting rocks. He had tried blasting a temple’s column, but his bolts weren’t strong enough to even leave a mark. After a little while, they, including Zeus, became bored with that. There was a world to explore after all.
“Let’s go watch the dancing dinosaurs,” suggested Hades.
“First, let’s go tell Uncle Atlas what Father Time gave us,” said Zeus.
“And then we can go visit my oceans,” said Poseidon.
Atlas (who wasn’t really their uncle) did his pretend job not very far from their home on Mount Olympus. Anyway, he wasn’t hard to find because he needed to be very tall even to pretend to be holding up the sky. The three little gods flew high up into the sky, very near to where the darkness of space begins. They floated in front of their uncle’s face and cried out, “Hi, Uncle Atlas.”
“Hello, boys. What brings you up this way?”
“We wanted to tell you the news,” said Zeus.
“Father Time gave us our god powers,” said Poseidon. “I’m the god of the oceans.”
“And I’m the god of the underground and the afterlife,” said Hades.
“I’m the god of skies, clouds, and rain,” said Zeus. “And watch this, Uncle.” The little god pointed a finger in the general direction of Atlas’s right arm, said the words, and a bolt of lightning shot out very close to Atlas’s hand.
“Hey, be careful. You wouldn’t want me to drop the sky, would you?”
“No, Uncle Atlas,” said Zeus. “I’m sorry.”
“That’s okay. No harm done.” Atlas smiled at the little ones. “Well, I’m very impressed with your new powers.”
The boys said their goodbyes and began a diving flight to the far-below land and seas. Before they’d gone too far, Atlas thought of something and called out to them, “Zeus! Did Chronos say anything about the new lord of the skies giving me a break someday? I could use a rest.” Then he laughed so hard snow and hail shook out of the clouds.
But they had not heard him. They had zoomed far below Atlas’s head and were already nearing the surface of an ocean. They didn’t slow down but dove straight down into the water. Swimming through the water faster than any of the undersea creatures, they soon came up behind a school of plesiosaurs.
“Let’s grab them by their tails,” shouted out Poseidon as he grabbed one by the end of a scaly green tail. Immediately, the long-necked beast bent his head around to face the little sea god. Its jaws opened, showing two rows of knife-sharp teeth. Poseidon let out a yell (an underwater bubble of a yell), jabbed his trident into the snout of the beast, and quickly began to swim to the surface. The other two little gods sped right behind him. In just a couple of seconds, they burst into the air. Right behind them, ten of the long necks reached into the sky toward the boys, who floated just out of reach.
“They look like snakes dancing on the water,” said Hades with a giggle.
“That beastie wanted to eat me,” said Poseidon.
“So? You are immortal,” said Hades. “That creature can’t kill you.”
“Maybe not, but he can hurt me. Gaia told me that,” said Poseidon.
“You’re god of the seas, aren’t you? You should command it not to bite you,” said Zeus.
“Yeah, but how?” asked Poseidon.
“Try yelling at him,” suggested Hades.
Poseidon lowered himself a bit, just out of reach of their snapping jaws, and shouted to them, “Stop trying to bite me. I command you.”
But that just caused the beasts to lunge even higher. Poseidon flew back to the level of the other two.
“Maybe I’ll wait and ask Father Time how to boss them around,” he said.
“Maybe it should be a when question and not a how question,” said Hades.
Just before they flew off, Zeus stretched out his arm and shot a bolt of lightning at a beastie’s snout. It cried out and dove back down into the water. The others, however, still lunged up at the boys, snapping their jaws and looking just as hungry as ever.